According to our 2023 Trends Report, last year’s electrical installation condition report (EICR) saw a 404% increase in demand, with many UK homeowners hiring electricians to ensure their electricity is safe. Formerly known as ‘fixed wire testing’, EICR is an important way to prevent electric shock and fire.
What is an electrical installation condition report?
An electrical installation condition report (EICR) is a formal document confirming that a qualified electrician or contractor has performed an electrical assessment of your property.
The EICR is done to ensure your home’s electricity meets current wiring regulations and standards. They also highlight any problems in your electrical installation (such as damaged wiring, damaged sockets, problems with your fuse board or faulty earthing or bonding), all of which can cause a fire. This will tell you what work needs to be done to ensure your home meets safety standards.
Does an electrician have to be registered to perform an EICR?
While you shouldn’t legally have to do this, it is recommended that you hire an electrician who is a member of a qualified persons scheme. For peace of mind, look for accreditations such as ECAsElectrical Safety List and GOOD.
The EICR specialist will arrive with the proper testing equipment to carry out the examination. They will then provide you with an official report detailing the condition of your electricity, including any faults and recommendations for the work you need to complete. Your report will also state whether or not your installation meets current electrical safety standards.
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Is the EICR a legal requirement?
Homeowners do not legally need to have an EICR but it is generally recommended that you get one done every 10 years to ensure your electricity is up to date and safe. They are also recommended after each change of occupancy.
The EICR is also very helpful in identifying problems before they become serious. This means they can help prevent costly repairs in the long run.
Do I need an EICR certificate as owner?
Yes, landlords need to ensure their rental property is free from electrical hazards. This means that by law, landlords must get an EICR at least every 5 years, or upon a change of tenant. For more information on ensuring your property meets electrical safety standards, read government regulations guide for landlords.
Failure to comply with this provision can result in a fine of up to £30,000. In serious cases, it can even lead to prison terms.
How long do electrical installation condition reports last?
If you rent a property, your landlord legally needs to complete an EICR every five years. For domestic properties, the recommended term for the EICR is ten years. However, this may vary according to the type of property you own and your electrical system. Periodic inspections will ensure any issues with your sockets or cables are caught early.
Your EICR is valid from the day the report is made and approved. After the inspection is complete, your electrician will advise you when the next inspection should be carried out.
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What happens if I don’t have an EICR?
For commercial buildings and leases, the EICR is required by law every five years. However, this is not the case for homeowners. It is still highly recommended that you get one done every decade or so, or at a change of residence, as neglecting an electrical check could put you and your loved ones at risk for electrical hazards.
In some cases, it can also impact your insurance coverage, as many insurance companies require evidence of regular electrical safety checks.
How much does it cost to report the condition of an electrical installation?
How much you will spend on your EICR will depend on several factors, including the size of your home, how complex your electrical installation is, where you live in the UK and the type of property you own.
On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from £100 to £350, although fees do go up for larger homes and commercial properties.
If your report shows damage to your electricity, then you will have to factor in the cost of having it repaired as well. This can range from minor repairs to a full remodel of your property.
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What is the difference between EICR and EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) covers the energy performance and efficiency of your home, and is administered by an accredited appraiser. This person will check your home’s energy usage, insulation, heating and lighting systems, and anything else that impacts energy efficiency. The EPC report will then give you an energy rating, with an A rating being the most efficient and a G rating being the least efficient.
Unlike the EICR, EPC is a legal requirement for most properties when they are sold, rented or built.
Do I need an electrical installation condition report to sell my house?
There is no legal requirement to have an EICR in order to sell your property. However, a potential buyer may ask you to acquire it as part of the terms of sale. This means that owning it can speed up the process by giving potential buyers more confidence in the electrical condition of their new home.
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